Day 31 (March 23)
Started the day’s editing with Chapter One, Part One. A good start to the day as it was suddenly clear how to fix a couple of awkward areas that jarred even after several previous efforts to improve. Location – Maroochydore in mid 1970s on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. Right now that coast is inundated because of unusually heavy rainfall – people have lost a great deal.
For the Part Four chapter I identified yesterday for critique by the Writer’s Group on 30th, a number of fixable areas jumped out – had become bogged down in the research about the early AIDS denials in some African countries in the 1990s. Had to make a choice about representing this awful situation well, or glossing over, or leaving out altogether. Came down on the middle way – unsatisfying of course, but as it is not a major part of the plot-line for Freya, I’ve settled for that, but hadn’t wanted to avoid such a major health problem for that continent altogether (unsure, but may make more of it than I have already, in Part Six). Completed lots of minor paragraph and sentence structure changes and word replacements.
Main satisfaction was subtle work on a paragraph that is one of my favourite events for the whole saga. I trust that when (not if) the story gets published somehow, this scene will be recognised as one of several (in this and later Parts) that epitomise the experience of so many who worked and have written about pivotal insights from their times in Africa. ‘Hope’ is a recurring theme.
Satisfactory day. Even though on reflection I don’t appear to have accomplished much, it feels like a barrier of some kind has been crossed.